Wetshaving isn’t a term that is widely known among current generations. Your grandfathers are well versed in the practice of wetshaving and the fact that it provides a closer shave as compared to disposable razor shaving.
There is a learning curve involved and it takes longer that disposable shaving, but the results are well worth the time and effort.
The following will address the basics of non-disposable razor shaving.
What is It?
Wetshaving is a shaving process that involves wet and lathered up skin via the use of either soap or shaving cream. The lather provides a man’s face with lubrication and a protective layer that decreases friction as the razor cuts the hair on the face. Additionally, the lather assists in facial exfoliation.
What do You Need for Wetshaving?
The very first thing that you need to obtain is a razor.
There are two options available, a double edged (safety) razor or a straight razor.
You will also need the following:
- A shaving brush (for the applying of shaving cream)
- Shaving cream/soaps
- Aftershave products
How to Wetshave / Wetshaving Tips
Once all of your tools and supplies are in place, the following are the steps for a viable close shave via wetshaving.
This is the most important step within the process of a successful wetshave. You will need to prepare your skin by either taking a hot shower or washing your face thoroughly.
The washing of your face assists in the removal of impurities (including excess oil). Should you not remove them, it can result on the path of the razor being blocked and the razor itself becoming clogged.
Additionally, utilize hot water when washing your face as a measure of softening the hair opening your pores. (softened hair makes it easier to cut and easier to achieve a close shave).
After properly washing your face, you will need to cover your face with a hot towel for no longer than three minutes. This will further soften your facial hair. The final step can be skipped if you opted for a hot shower.
Once your face has been cleaned and your pores opened, it is time to apply either soap or shaving cream. For your entire face, you will need no more than an almond size amount of shaving cream/soap.
It is imperative that you note that shaving cream/soap is to be applied in a circular motion that ends with a crisscross pattern.
As you become more comfortable, you will notice that you will begin to develop your own nuances based upon personal preference.
With that being said, as a rule of thumb, refrain from using a lot of pressure. Allow your shaving brush to do the work for you (that is, in fact, why you have it).
Some men prefer to apply their shaving cream/soap by hand, but the use of the brush will allow the lather to last longer. Also, a lesser amount of shaving cream/soap is needed in order to achieve an appropriate lather when a shaving brush is used.
In order to achieve the best shave possible, you will need to keep a few things in mind. It is important that you know the proper angel for your razor to work its very best.
Begin at a 90-degree angle when shaving the side of your face. Move the handle of the razor downward between 30 and 45 degrees as you begin to shave. When moving towards your neck, utilize this same principle.
Do NOT push down on your razor. It is important that you let the blade do the work for you and be gentle.
If you are accustomed to disposable razors, forget EVERYTHING that you currently know about shaving. Regardless if you are using a straight razor or a safety razor, proper technique and a light touch is a requirement.
When beginning to shave, always go WITH the grain of the hair and NEVER AGAINST it.
Once you have developed a mastery of wetshaving, you will be able to shave against the grain (or even go across the grain) for a much closer shave.
It does need to be noted that if you have highly sensitive skin, avoid shaving against the grain regardless of your skill level.
Protect Post Shave
Once you have completed your wetshave, it is important to rinse your face with cold water. The cold water will close the pores in your face. If you have [accidentally] nicked or cut yourself, covering your face with a cold towel.
This will help to alleviate irritation. If you do not prefer a cold towel on your face, you can apply alum block to your face.
Pat your face dry after a cold rinse, NEVER rub your face dry.
Finally, you will need to apply an aftershave moisturizer (if you suffer from dry skin) or lotion to your face.
Benefits of Wetshaving
There are a handful of benefits associated with wetshaving as opposed to dry shaving with a disposable razor. One [pleasant] benefit is cost.
The cost of replacing cartridge refills for disposable/reusable razors ranges from $15 to $40 a cartridge, whereas the cost of a double edge razor is approximately $0.20.
An additional benefit to the art of wet-shaving is that you are left with a far better shave as compared to using a disposable razor. This is due to disposable razors not being properly angled.
Wetshaving allows you an increased amount of control over precision and angle. You choose the blades that are being used on your face as well as the angle used.
Most importantly, wetshaving allows you to decrease waste, since you are utilizing reusable metal blades and non-aerosol cans.
Although there is a bit of a learning curve involved, wetshaving is an overall better option over disposable razor shaving.
You are certain to full enjoy the look and feel of your face after the very first shave. Do keep in mind that it may take you a few tries to achieve a superior shave and to find the shaving cream/soap and lather that works best for you.
With that being said, within no time you will be looking forward to your daily wet shaving ritual. A ritual your fathers and grandfathers cherished in their time.